Get rid of anxiety with yoga. Asanas, meditation, & pranayama can prevent the brain from releasing chemicals that cause anxiety, according to a review of clinical studies.

4 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety with Yoga

4 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety with Yoga

Even yoga beginners can benefit from this mind-body connection after the first two months of practice.

1. Yoga Significantly Reduces Anxiety After 2 Months

Going to yoga class significantly reduces anxiety, according to a 2009 study from the Psychiatry Department of Islamic Azad University published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

Researchers evaluated 65 women split into two groups by comparing:

  • 34 yoga beginners who took a 90-minute yoga class twice per week for two months
  • 31 participants hadn’t been doing yoga

The results demonstrate the yoga group, who suffered from anxiety disorders, significantly reduced their “perceived levels of anxiety” after 2 months of regular practice.

2. Yoga Affects the Hypothalamus

Practicing yoga reduces anxiety by inhibiting the sympathetic area of the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, according to a study from the University of Mississippi published in International Yoga Journal.

Researchers admit to not understanding how, but they observed that doing yoga influenced the hypothalamus in such a way that it increased good feelings, such as bliss and pleasure.

Yoga reduced bad feelings, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Aggression
  • Rage

3. Meditation to Heal from Traumatic Events

Meditation training can significantly reduce anxiety caused by a traumatic event, according to a study from the Department of Holistic Medicine at Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust University and published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

The 30 participants with “adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depression” completed a 28-week Yoga – Meditation course. Adjustment disorder refers to feeling overly traumatized within 3 months of a stressful event.

4. Sometimes Effective for Pregnant Women

Going to yoga class may or may not reduce or get rid of anxiety for pregnant women, according to a systematic review of the literature stored in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews by la Universitaire de Québec.

The aggregate of data came from 556 subjects who participated in 8 evidence-based trials:

  • 1 yoga study
  • 1 hypnotherapy trial
  • 1 autogenic training, a relaxation technique
  • 5 imagery trials

The results demonstrate “there is some, but no strong evidence, for the effectiveness of mind-body interventions for the management of anxiety during pregnancy.”


References for 4 Ways to Get Rid of Anxiety with Yoga

1. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Mind-Body Interventions During Pregnancy for Preventing or Treating Women’s Anxiety

2. International Yoga Journal: Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Yoga and Its Ability to Increase Quality of Life

3. Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice: Effects of Yoga on Depression and Anxiety of Women


Photo credit: Hazma Butt